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Hawaii Looks to Legalize Online Poker

By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer

hawaii-online-pokerHawaii has thrown its hat into the ring of states looking to legalize online poker. But the state faces different challenges that other efforts across The United States haven’t had to deal with.

Currently Hawaii and Utah are the only two states that don’t allow any form of gambling, so a proposed bill that cleared its first committees on Wednesday would be a historic one for the Aloha State.

The bill is proposing that only Texas Hold’em and Omaha be allowed as poker games. The idea behind the bill is to boost the economy and provide tourists another reason to visit the already popular vacation destination.

Since Hawaii currently outlaws all forms of gambling, the bill invokes the “poker is a game of skill, not chance” definition to allow it to be exempted from the current law. What, Razz isn’t a game of skill?

The proposed bill is seen as a stepping-stone to potentially legalizing casinos, lotteries, and slot machines in the state.

The portion of the bill that would allow internet poker to become legal in the state involves some outrageous costs to potential online gaming providers. The state would charge poker sites over $100 million just to locate their servers in Hawaii and impose a 20% tax on wagers.

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